Posted tagged ‘Boston’

Are You Puzzled?

September 28, 2017

For years, my family came from different parts of the United States to vacation together on Hilton Head Island for a week of family camaraderie and fun. During the day, people did what they enjoyed – walking on the beach, swimming, playing volleyball, shopping, golfing, reading, or simply relaxing. At dinner, we would come together as one big, noisy family and share our experiences of the day.

The one thing that was a constant each year was the presence of a jigsaw puzzle. It was set out on a table for anyone to test their puzzle skills. The goal was to finish it before the end of the week. It was an all-out effort by everyone.

We haven’t been to Hilton Head as a large family in years, but I still enjoy putting together jigsaw puzzles, and I’ve found some amazing ones.

Lois B. Sutton is a talented artist who creates detailed, colorful collages which are then made into jigsaw puzzles. (whitemountainpuzzles.com) Nostalgia, Americana, and vintage items are a large part of her subject matter. Her puzzles are challenging and a delight to put together to achieve the end result. At this moment, my favorite Lois B. Sutton puzzle is “Boston.” As pieces are put in place, you not only get a tour of Boston but a history lesson, too! Her puzzles are a great learning experience for the entire family. If you’re looking for some quality family time, try putting together one of Lois B. Sutton’s puzzles.

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Library Card – Don’t Leave Home Without It

September 24, 2015

September is National Library Card Sign-up Month. Do you have a library card? Do your children have library cards? If you don’t have one or your children don’t have one, waste not a moment more. Get thee to a library and sign up for a card today. It can change your life.

What is a library? It’s a home away from home. Today’s libraries are not the libraries of yesteryear. Step into a modern library and be amazed by all they have to offer. Not only are there books, CDs, DVDs, e-books, magazines, and newspapers, there are also computers, printers, copy machines, story hours, teen programs, adult programs, homework centers, summer reading programs, and many more valuable resources to benefit everyday living. If not for yourself, get a library card for your children. Libraries offer the tools to enhance the educational development of children and keep them on the right track. Libraries are the place to be!

Along with taking full advantage of the public libraries, I’m happy to see Little Free Libraries popping up in many different places. Can you guess where these were spotted?

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Don’t know? Here are some picture hints.

Both of these Little Free Libraries are in and around the spaces below.

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Any thoughts?

It’s time for the reveal.

The first Little Free Library is in …

Greenway

The Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston.

The second Little Free Library is in Boston’s North End.

Whether it’s the public library or a Little Free Library, libraries are invaluable! Take advantage of what they have to offer!

A Cautionary Snow Tale

February 26, 2015

Last week I was in Boston and New Hampshire. There’s a LOT of snow there. Take a look at the drifts outside this New Hampshire house. How long does it take to shovel those snowdrifts? Let me count the days!

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In Boston, snow is piled just as high. Mother Nature played a dirty, white trick on the Northeast. Do you remember the Big Dig in Boston years ago? Well, this is the new Big Dig. Snow is still everywhere and people are continuing to dig out!

This brings to mind a wonderful nonfiction book, Over and Under the Snow, written by the very talented Kate Messner and enhanced with clever illustrations by Christopher Silas Neal.

A little girl and her dad are enjoying a cross-country ski romp in the winter woods. As they glide over the snow, the little girl sees an animal dart by and then disappear. She wants to know where it went. Her dad describes the “secret kingdom” under the snow where animals are safe and warm during the winter. It’s a lovely winter tale.

Boston has a secret kingdom under the snow, too. As Bostonians trudge over and around the piles of white stuff, there is a secret world beneath it.

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 A trash can hidden beneath a pile of snow

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A bench in the Public Garden that disappeared during one of the nor’easters

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A parked car buried by a city plow

And over the snow is something else to keep your eye on.

Icicles!

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Long, dagger-like pieces of ice hang from buildings.

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On a whim, those icicles can turn into a deadly weapon if they break free.

Watch your head!

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Unlike Kate Messner’s delightful story, the Boston Winter of 2015 is a cautionary tale. For the time being, keep a close look out for what’s over and under the snow if you’re walking through the streets of Boston.

Is it spring yet?

Boston Adventure in Four Parts

July 24, 2014

Last week we were in Boston. We stayed with our daughter and her husband while checking on the progress of the house we’re building. They live downtown on the fifth floor of a quaint 1864 building. They love it. We love it, too, but there are challenges.

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Quaint Building

Early Friday morning, after my husband and son-in-law had left on a man mission, the teeny-tiny elevator in the charming building took a permanent break between the second and third floors. As I comfortably slept, my daughter and grandpuppy were stuck in that elevator. At 8:00 a.m., she burst into the bedroom, looking flushed. “Didn’t you get my call? My voicemail?” I looked at my cell phone. I did get it, but I didn’t hear it because of the noise from the window air conditioner. “I was stuck in the elevator for an hour and a half!” she cried. “The emergency crew put a ladder down to get us out. I’m late for work!” Good mother immediately jumped out of bed and comforted the distressed child. All the while I was thinking I would have died if I had been stuck in that munchkin elevator!

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Infamous Elevator

The adventure didn’t stop there.

That evening my daughter, her husband, and the puppy left for Long Island for a four-day visit with his parents and to attend a wedding. My husband and I kept busy going to and from our new home site. We walked down stairs – five flights of stairs – 87 steps. We walk up stairs – 87 steps – while the elevator was being fixed. We used my daughter’s car. She neglected to inform us the air conditioning was NOT working. Did I mention the weather was extremely hot and humid? We were driving around in a sauna! Was I having fun in the fun city of Boston? NO!

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A Moving Sauna

 There’s more.

Being good parents, we went grocery shopping to restock the refrigerator. We bought wine. Wine was good at that point, but taking groceries, wine, briefcase, and building samples up five flights of stairs was NOT good. My husband double parked in front of the condo. We dumped everything at the bottom of the five flights of stairs. While my husband hunted for a parking place. I brought bags up the stairs. I got three bags up the first 25 steps before my husband joined me. Together we climbed the hot, stuffy stairway to heaven. He took the heavy stuff. I took the light stuff. By floor three, I was breathing hard. I sprawled myself out on the steps and admired the intricate woodwork on the walls while I caught my breath. It’s a beautiful building, but as I prayed for a burst of energy to make it up the last two flights of stairs, I also thanked God I didn’t live there!

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Stairway to Heaven

The Finale.

While putting the ice cream away, I discovered watery ice cubes and a tender pork tenderloin. Freezer on the fritz! Smorgasbord for dinner! After our not-your-ordinary meal, my husband and I topped it off with a bowl of chocolate ice cream soup!

Downtown living may be charming and filled with excitement, but there are unexpected challenges with every step you take. It’s good to be home!

Check this out!

Boston:  A Photographic Portrait by Stan Patey (Twin Lights Publishers, 2004)

I’m Back!

July 31, 2012

True to my word I said I’d return at the end of July to continue to dazzle and entertain with my bi-weekly blogs, and here I am.

It’s been a busy six weeks since I last blogged. During that time, my husband, Tom, and I have been to Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Illinois, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.

Summer has always been a perfect time for me to catch up on reading, but not this summer. Instead of Fifty Shades of Grey, our summer began with fifty shades of red. I’m talking about red paint.

Our daughter bought a condo in Boston, and “Daddy” agreed to paint. He didn’t realize she wanted him to paint every wall in the condo, using several different colors. Deciding which shade of red to use as an accent wall in her bedroom proved to be the most daunting task. She had every sample from the red color palette taped to the wall. Tom was seeing red by the time she made her decision.

End Result

In between painting and traveling back and forth to Wisconsin, we attended a shower and three weddings. Tom and I measure our life in stages, and we happen to be in – Our Friend’s Children Are Getting Married – stage.

Our first wedding was in the New England area. The groom was from New Hampshire. The bride was from Pennsylvania. The venue of choice was in Connecticut.

Idyllic

Our next wedding was in downtown Chicago right after a wicked thunderstorm. Streets were flooded and trees were down, but nothing stops true love.

Chicago and …

A Bucky Badger Wedding Cake?

For wedding three, it was onward and upward to Minnesota.

Elegant

The best part about attending these weddings in different states was that I could wear the same dress!

We also got together with my sister and her husband for a mini vacation in Boston and Portland, Maine.

The Freedom Trail and good food were on the Boston menu.

Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum

Tall Ships

Lobster Mac ‘N’ Cheese

That was followed by a trip up the coast to Portland, Maine, the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, and more good food.

Portland Head Light

Lobster Linguine

I have literally eaten my way through this summer. This is NOT good. I need to keep my girlish figure because we have yet another wedding to attend in November. (And, yes, I’ll probably wear the same dress!)

Right now it’s home sweet home for us. Tom is taking care of the parched lawn, meager garden, and dead flowers. I am busy chasing the dust bunnies that have multiplied since the last time I cleaned. I’d better hop to it!

Best Mother’s Day Ever

May 8, 2012

Mother’s Day came early this year for two reasons. We’re in Boston helping our daughter, Beth, move (#10) into her new condo, and Boston has some of the finest restaurants around.

On Saturday evening after spending the day painting, packing, lifting, pushing, shoving, and grumbling at one another, we took a well-needed break. Beth decided we should celebrate the two Ms – Mother’s Day and Moving. She made reservations for dinner in the North End — a neighborhood known for its history and great Italian restaurants.

Luckily, Beth’s place is within walking distance of many Boston attractions. That’s a plus because parking on the streets is a rare commodity. We followed parts of the Freedom Trail, and just around the corner from Paul Revere’s House was our destination.

We stepped inside Mare Oyster Bar. It was cozy with seating for approximately forty-two diners and seating for twelve at the bar. The staff was friendly and very accommodating. For the first time that day, we were able to relax and have a decent conversation with one another.

Even though raw oysters are not on the top of my list of favorite foods, it’s a must to try at least one oyster. Duh … It’s an oyster bar! I will say my choice was delicious. Each of us chose a different entrée. Beth ordered the Truffle Crusted Tuna with grilled eggplant, wilted spinach, and sweet baby peppers. Tom ordered the Seafood Cannelloni filled with shrimp, scallops, and swordfish with a lobster cream sauce. I ordered the Pan Roasted Halibut with asparagus and morel mushrooms.

Maybe it was because we were ravenous after a day of hard labor, or maybe it was because we savor good food – especially when someone else is preparing it, but we all agreed upon one thing. Dinner was fabulous!

Afterward, we joined the locals and tourists milling around the narrow streets. Before heading home, we made one more stop. If you’re in the North End, you can’t leave without popping into Mike’s Pastry. We didn’t pop in because the line into the shop was half-way down the street. With a little know-how, Beth managed to make it quickly through the line. Pastries in hand, we were on our way home to enjoy them.

Chocolate Chip Cannolo and Pistachio Nut Macaroons

Whether helping our daughter move, celebrating a special occasion, dining at a fabulous restaurant, spending time together as a family beats all. This was the best early Mother’s Day ever!

The Rest of the ABC Travel Tale

October 11, 2011

New England is gorgeous in fall. When you experience it with family and friends, it’s even more so. The past few days, we walked our little tootsies off. We talked nonstop. We laughed until it hurt. Impressive sights, gourmet delights, and incredible memories topped off the long weekend.

Let me start again and give you the ABC lowdown.

 

Apples Galore

Boston Harbor

Covered Bridges

Duck Boats

Elizabeth among the Mums

Fall Colors in the White Mountains of New Hampshire

Glen Ellis Falls in New Hampshire 

Hooker Entrance

Institute of Contemporary Art

John Kerry’s Residence (2 for 1)

Lobster

Movie Set for R.I.P.D.

North End

Old South Meeting House

Pumpkin Picking

Quincy, MA

Rose Kennedy Greenway

Seagulls

Treasure Trove of Colorful Trees

Umbria (Food!)

Vintage Lounge (Libations!)

Waterfall in New Hampshire

XV Beacon, a Boutique Hotel in Boston

Yacht

The Leonard P. Zakim Bunker Hill Memorial Bridge

That’s it! My ABC travel tale is finished. I’m tired out and I’m lettered out, but I still have a huge smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart.

If you’d like to peruse an autumn ABC book, check this out.

A is for Autumn by Robert Maass (Henry Holt and Co., August 2011)


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